Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunday, July 10th

I have been assigned to the Ghauri Shankar house, which houses 36 girls. The children all speak English and always great you with "namaste" which means hello, or "hello sister". They are all quite fluent in English, but generally speak so fast I only understand about 20% of what they say. On school days we walk them to school and pick them up afterwards. It's about a 20 minute walk each way, so I know I'll be getting lots of exercise. The other volunteer in the house is Nadja, from germany. Nadja is 20, has long blondish hair and is model pretty. The girls think we look very much alike. Only a few wear glasses, but I think many more may need them.
This afternoon after dinner (del bhat-which Is rice,lentils & vegetables) the girls were skipping rope while others were studying. It was the first time I was there without Nadja and a handful of girls sat down with me to talk and find out about me. The first thing that always comes up is "sista..... You soooooo white" and then they all stick out there arms to compare their own skin color to mine. Then "sista, how old?". I am older than most of their mothers and they have a hard time understanding why I don't yet have my own family.
The girls are very affectionate and are always wanting to hold hands or link arms.
There are currently 9 other volunteers, mostly from Ireland, 2 from the US, 1 from Spain and 1 from Germany. Everyone gets along great and during off time the ones that have been here longer have been showing us newbies around Kathmandu.
Every Thursday evening is quiz night at a pub in the tourist district, Thamel. We try to gather up foreigners to join us and compete. In Canada it would be similar to trivia night. It's a way to let peole know about the Umbrella Foundation and raise $$.

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